Seminar Advocates for Starry Skies, Less Light Pollution

DULUTH, Minn. —

Here in the city, when the sun goes down, the street lights come on.

But at a seminar in Duluth, one local non-profit says the lights are just getting too bright.

Experts from many fields meet at Clyde Iron Works to give talks and lead discussion about light pollution, and why preserving darkness at night is important.

Starry Skies Lake Superior is a non-profit founded in 2015, and is a chapter of the International Dark Sky Association.

Cindy Hakala, the group’s president, says this seminar is the first of its kind on this topic here in the Twin Ports.

“What does light pollution do to my sleep?  What does light pollution do to animals? What can I do?  So we wanted to gather all these experts – all the experts we could – in one place and learn from them and try to answer some of these questions,” Hakala said.

One presenter – Paul Bogard – has written a book called The End of Night.

Bogard says the brighter our city lights get, the more detrimental is gets to life as we know it.

“Darkness is irreplaceable for human beings,” he said.  “We evolved with bright days and dark nights.  We need it for physical, spiritual, mental health.”

The seminar is part of an entire week of activities called “Celebrate the Night Sky Week.”

Starry Skies Lake Superior will host free events at the Alworth Planetarium in Duluth as well as star parties at a few locations in the area.

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